Jones Erue, Chairman of the Great Ogboru and Ovie Omo-Agege-led faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State, has been dragged before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly cloning the party's single account in Zenith Bank with account number 1013797796.
A petition signed by A.O. Oputa, legal counsel to the state APC Treasurer, Ebiakpo Ezebri, and addressed to the EFCC Chairman, which was obtained by SaharaReporters, alleged that the factional chairman of the party, cloned the account for the purpose of fraudulently diverting subscription fees, levies, gifts, donations of party members and grants from government, individuals and groups among others.
The petition was titled 'The Cloning of the All Progressives Congress Single Account Kept with Zenith Bank with Account No. 1013797796 by Prophet Jones Ode Erue in First City Monument Bank (FCMB) with Account No. 2488983014 for the Purpose of Fraudulently Diverting Subscription Fees, Levies, Gifts, Donations of Party Members and Grants from Government, Individuals And Groups, etc.'
The petition read: "Our client was the Financial Secretary of APC, 2014–2018 and one of the mandatory signatories to the single account of the party kept with Zenith Bank with account No. 1013797796. This account is the official and the only account of the party in Delta State. It is a rule of the thumb that any other account to be opened by the party in any other bank shall be a resolution of the State Working Committee of the party in a general meeting.
"Consequently, no other account shall be opened in any other bank without the prior knowledge and approval of the State Working Committee. It is into this Zenith Bank Account No. 1013797796 that party members are to pay their subscription fees, levies, donations, gifts, proceeds on investment, subvention and grant from government, individuals and groups are to be paid.
"In spite of this clear and unambiguous rule, Prophet Jones Ode Erue fraudulently opened another account with First City Monument Bank with the same Account Name: All Progressives Congress and cajoled donors and some suspecting party members to pay monies into this account wherein he has received subscription fees, levies and even grants and subvention of government and has converted several millions of naira of monies meant for the party.
"When this huge fraud was detected, Prophet Jones Ode Erue, and an audit was directed in line with the party’s constitution to ascertain the volume of funds converted by Prophet Jones Ode Erue and his cohorts. There was also moves for Prophet Jones Ode Erue to step aside so that he does not interfere with the audit. As Chairman of the party at that time, Prophet Jones Ode Erue with his cohorts the beneficiaries of this huge fraud frustrated all the processes set up to get to the bottom of this cloned
The petitioner disclosed that his petitioning the cloning of the party bank account, necessitated a petition to the national secretariat of the APC in Abuja, which sources confided has become an issue of politics.
The petition continued: "We know as a fact that this criminal misappropriation of public funds and a fundamental violation of the party’s constitution which amounts to financial crime and we know as a fact your Agency by Section 6 and 7 of your Establishment Act has the powers to investigate financial crimes of this nature.
"It is our prayer that you approve an investigation into the circumstances leading to Prophet Jones Erue cloning the party’s Zenith Bank account in FCMB into which he had received several millions of naira belonging to the party."
However when contacted, the state All Progressives Congress (APC), factional chairman, Jones Erue, simply said: "I am not aware of any cloned bank account; I am not a financial expert; I am not a banker".